The University of New Mexico Board of Regents voted to approve a 3.1% increase in tuition Monday.
This was not an easy vote. The board was split on how they could meet a 4% salary increase for staff and faculty. After hours of debate, something had to give, and students will pay the price.
Earlier this month, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham reminded UNM about that 4% salary increase. The Regents originally thought they would have to scramble to find about $20 million to pay for it. After crunching the numbers again, that amount came down to $10 million.
They approved a 3% salary increase for staff and faculty, upped the tuition 3.1% and upped student fees by a little more than that to help pay for it. Those increases mean another roughly $230 a year for the typical undergrad.
Student government begrudgingly signed off on the deal.
“With the revised proposal to meet the compensation need, we were reluctant,” said ASUNM President Becka Myers. “However, it seemed the best option under the circumstances.”
Even with these tuition and fee hikes, it still won’t make up the $10 million UNM needs for that salary increase. So, the Regents also approved dipping into their reserve funds for a few million more.
After all that, they’re still short. The regents will now turn to the legislature and the governor for that last bit to make it to the 4% salary increase.
Faculty and staff will start seeing that pay hike by July 2019. The tuition and fee increases go into effect for the fall.